Did you know May is Celiac Awareness Month? It is! So let’s talk celiac.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small intestine, causing poor nutrient absorption along with a host of other possible problems. Symptoms range from digestive distress to weight loss to joint pain to depression, and everything in between. People who have celiac disease react to a protein in wheat, barley, and rye called gluten, which damages the microvilli in their small intestine. Gluten is not only found in bread and pasta products, but also in surprising places like canned goods, condiments, and even beauty products. Celiac disease is a genetic disorder. It can be diagnosed with a blood test and/or biopsy of the small intestine and is treated by avoiding all gluten. Celiac disease is not the same thing as gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity, although many of the symptoms can be the same.
A gluten-free diet can seem overwhelming, but with an increase in both celiac disease and gluten-intolerance, plus increased awareness, access to gluten-free products is becoming more and more available.
Here are some resources about celiac disease:
Reading the facts about celiac disease is one thing, but learning to live with it is another. Here are some “real-life” resources of bloggers who live a gluten-free lifestyle, ranging from those with celiac disease to gluten sensitivity to food allergies and more.
For more on Celiac Awareness Month, including gluten-free products of the day, webinars, and information about celiac disease, visit the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.